DUP anger as health courses go to Magee college - MLA says promsies were made to Coleraine campus

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey has expressed “grave disappointment and anger” at the decision by Ulster University (UU) to relocate its School of Health Sciences undergraduate programmes to its campus in Londonderry rather than Coleraine.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 10:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 10:08 pm

MrStorey said yesterday’s decision was “bitterly disappointing” and was “a total reversal” of promises by the previous Vice Chancellor Paddy Nixon when speaking to Causeway Coast & Glens Council in 2018.

“Coleraine was uniquely positioned to receive these courses,” Mr Storey said.

“The campus has already established a reputation for excellence in teaching and research through its biomedical and healthcare courses. It was also by the University’s own admission the most cost-effective option.”

DUP MLA Mervyn Storey hit out at the decision by Ulster University. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

However the move was welcomed by Londonderry Alliance Councillor Rachael Ferguson.

“The Allied Health Sciences School coming to UU [Ulster University] Magee is wonderful news for Derry and the West” she said. “The Alliance Party members have been waiting for this news since the public consultation ended”.

A spokesman for UU said it wanted to achieve a better balance across all its campuses.

“Coleraine campus is a thriving and distinguished centre of academic excellence across both research and teaching in diverse disciplines including education, journalism, geography, biomedical science and pharmacy,” he said.

The course linkages at Magee offer the strongest opportunities for healthcare disciplines to develop together, he said.

Plans to relocate the courses to Coleraine were revised in 2018 due to many external pressures, he added.

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